Here’s the thing: I’ve never really accepted the transition to adulthood. If you ask me what the most important book I’ve ever read is, I will probably describe the Enid Blyton and Jacqueline Wilson collection that is stacked in order of size on the lilac shelf in my bedroom. If you happen to know that particular lilac shelf, you will know that it matches everything in my room, including the lilac Groovy Chick cushion on my bed. If you know me well enough to have seen my cushion collection, you will know that it excites me almost as much as a pair of fluffy socks.
But, in the spirit of it being my final semester of college, I decided to give this adult craic a week’s trial. Here’s what happened…
The first great thing about going to yoga class was that I hadn’t been to my gym for so long that nobody recognised me, so I got a “free trial” and saved myself a tenner. The second great thing came in the form of an important adult style lesson about being riddled with notions. You see, being so full of preconceptions, I had expected the class to be full of outré characters. But, to my surprise, there were very few people who seemed to come from long haired green organic goat chakra farms. In fact, the majority of the class were very healthy, toned and trendy looking individuals. Well, if that isn’t an advertisement for hot yoga, I don’t know what is, I thought, as I watched Mister Muscle in front of me stretch his calves.
Then, our instructor walked in, and I swear I’ve never seen somebody so comfortable in their body. She lit some incense and started to float around the room, rhyming off mystical language about energies … and before I knew it, we were all united as sweaty elastic bands, bowing to each other and half whispering “Namaste”.
I left the class enlightened and slightly floating (although, I’m not sure if that had as much to do with the yoga, as it did the fact that Mister Muscle definitely winked at me when he said “Namaste”).
Anyway, the greatest lesson was learned in the dressing room afterwards: It is obligatory to take a full length mirror gym selfie to post to social media (there are filters to edit out your sweat patches and red face). Because, as Buddha himself said: “If nobody on Instagram knows you have done yoga, hast thou really even done yoga?”
Entering the adult realm, for me, was kind of a big deal. So, it was only fair that I decided to leave all my regrets at the door as I walked through. The fact that I spent the tenner I saved at free yoga trial on McDonalds? Left at the door. That mullet style haircut in 2014? No entry. Your man I shifted on the fifth floor of the nightclub in Prague? Sorry, not tonight pal… Je ne regret Rien, and all that.
For a couple of days, I even considered getting a tattoo of “Je ne regret Rien”, and decided I wouldn’t regret that either. Namaste, to that – I thought, as I sat back imagining all the things I’d done that weren’t on my list of regrets anymore.
But, then it struck me.
What about the things I hadn’t done?
The unfinished novel. That rejected tinder date. (What if he was the one? Or one of the ones?) That unpurchased green embroidered shirt in Penny’s. (What if she was one of the ones?).
So actually, je regret a few things. And that doesn’t have the same ring to it for a tattoo, but it’s still okay.
Back in my prime (Prime….ary school, that is), I was known as a master of conversation.
“Good at spelling, very chatty – needs to be moved often” was the standard comment on my end of year report. And now, I decided, was time to let my gift shine through – in an adult way.
“We seem to be … getting a lot of weather,” I found myself saying to Mister Muscle at yoga class attempt number two.
Part two of reclaiming the title of master of conversation was to replace sarcastic jokes with polite comments. The idea was that in order to be a true adult, I would use the phrase “Okay, great, no problem”, with a huge smile, whenever I felt the urge to be sarcastic or rude.
At my part time job in a café at the weekend, I found myself reflecting on what a brilliant adjustment I had made into adulthood – I felt free, liberated … Namaste, regret free – when who walks in, only my yoga instructor.
“A tall, non-foam, goats milk, half-caff, organic latte in a recycled cup,” she requested.
“Okay, great, no problem….” I smiled.
-By Caoimhe Tully